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Italy: Ban on Cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms

(Dec. 26, 2016) On December 11, 2016, new legislation implementing European Union directives that ban the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) entered into effect in Italy.  (Legislative Decree No. 227 of November 14, 2016, Implementing Directive (EU) 2015/412 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2015, Amending Directive 2001/18/EC as […]

Australia: Parliament Passes 15% “Backpacker Tax” Rate

(Dec. 7, 2016) On December 1, 2016, on the last parliamentary sitting day of the year, the Australian Parliament voted to pass a bill establishing a 15% income tax rate for temporary foreign workers known as “working holiday makers” (WHMs, or “backpackers”) commonly referred to as the “backpacker tax.” The tax rate to be applied to […]

Mexico/United States: Agreement on Establishment of Committee on Trade in Organic Products

(Nov. 17, 2016) In October 2016, agriculture authorities from the United States and Mexico announced a plan to establish a Joint Organic Compliance Committee in order to foster collaboration pertaining to trade in organic products between Mexico and the United States and to ensure the quality of such products. (Press Release, U.S. and Mexico Establish […]

Argentina: Prohibition of Pesticide Use on Crops During Loading and Transportation

(Sept. 15, 2016) Argentina has banned the application of pesticides to crops while they are being loaded or transported.  Law 27262, adopted by Argentina’s parliament in July 2016, forbids the application of and/or treatment with any type of fumigant pesticide in connection with crops, their products and sub-products, cereals, and oil seeds during loading of such […]

Russia: Full Ban on Food with GMOs

(July 1, 2016) On June 29, 2016, the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Federal Assembly (the upper chamber of the legislature) adopted the Federal Law on Amending Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation in Regard to Improvement of State Control in the Field of Genetic Engineering. (Press Release, Federation Council, Ban on Growing and […]

Brazil: Decree Launches National Pact for Healthy Eating

(Nov. 10, 2015) On November 3, 2015, Brazil published Decree No. 8,353, which creates a National Pact for Healthy Eating (Pacto Nacional para Alimentação Saudável). The purpose of the Pact is to expand the supply, availability, and consumption of healthy foods and to combat overweight, obesity, and disease caused by a poor diet. (Decreto No. […]

Iceland/European Union: Reduction in Import Duties, Increase in Quotas for Agricultural Products

(Oct. 20, 2015) On September 17, 2015, Iceland’s government and the European Union agreed on new terms for agricultural trade. (Press Release, EU and Iceland Strike Deal to Protect Geographical Indications and Enhance Trade for Agricultural and Food Products (Sept. 18, 2015) EUROPA.) Under the new agreement, Iceland will reduce the tariffs on agricultural products […]

Scotland: GM Crops Ban

(Aug. 27, 2015) Public opinion in the United Kingdom in the past has been strongly against the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically modified (GM) crops. (Adam Vaughn, Public Concern over GM Food Has Lessened, Survey Shows, GUARDIAN (Mar. 9, 2012); Martin Robbins, Hulk Smash GM Crops, GUARDIAN (May 30, 2012) (accessed via […]

Japan: New Urban Farming Promotion Basic Act

(June 4, 2015) Japan’s Urban Farming Promotion Basic Act was promulgated on April 22, 2015. (Act No. 14 of 2015 (text of bill), House of Representatives website (in Japanese).) The Act confirms that urban farming is beneficial for the society: to provide a source of fresh and safe products; to give urban residents the opportunity […]

Japan: Three New “Promotion Acts” Under Jurisdiction of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry

(Sept. 25, 2014) The last three acts of the 2014 regular Diet session, promulgated on June 26, 2014, were “promotion acts” aimed at promoting particular agricultural and fishery industries: pig farming, ornamental plant cultivation, and inland water fisheries. Under each Act, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) will establish a national basic promotion […]